By Nicolas Mouchel
It’s a small revolution, or in any case a major change for the children of the Hastings nursery school in Dives-sur-Mer (Calvados). Until now, the students walked every day at noon between the Hastings school and the Colleville school a few hundred meters away, to go to lunch. From mid-December, it will be ancient history since they will now be able to eat their meals directly at their school.
Since mid-October 2022, just before the All Saints holidays, work has started to create a catering area in the school. A project carried by the Municipality and whose origin does not date from yesterday. “I had already had the idea a few years ago, when I was a simple parent of a student, but there was no room at the time”, recalls Eric Kebrat, now assistant to youth. In June 2021, the city council decided to really launch the project, following the expansion of the school, “today there are empty spaces to occupy, it was time to do it”.
Insulation and hygiene
Former classrooms of the school are currently undergoing major transformation work. “We had all the joinery in the building changed, as well as the windows and doors in order to reinforce the insulation and with a view to lowering energy consumption,” said Mayor Pierre Mouraret. Two spaces will be converted into dining rooms to accommodate students, depending on the level, for lunch at noon. A third room will serve as a kitchen for storing meals.
The meals are prepared in the central kitchen of the Colleville school and will be brought directly here where they will be stored in hot and cold containers.
Sink, refrigerators, appliances for keeping warm will be installed “within about two weeks”. In the future kitchen, walls, floors and ceilings have been covered and laminated, “treated for food hygiene” adds the general director of services, Manuel Malvasio.
A development project worth €70,000 supported by the City of Dives-sur-Mer and carried out by both technical service agents and outside companies.
School catering has been very popular in recent months in Dives-sur-Mer with the establishment of the one-euro canteen. Nearly 80 kindergarten children will thus be able to benefit from this new school catering space at the Hastings school, “i.e. three quarters of the workforce”, notes Eric Kerbrat, who does not exclude that these arrangements may promote the registration of more children for lunch.
This new development will be much better for the children, for their safety, their comfort, the time saved for them and the teachers, but also for the ATSEM (territorial agent specialized in nursery schools) who accompany them from one establishment to the other.
This new mode of operation will also lead to a reorganization of the staff, in the kitchens of Colleville, “the food must be ready earlier in the morning for transport to Hastings”, notes Éric Kerbrat, but also for the supervisors of the children.
What to see the future with serenity at the Hastings school, after the expansion works carried out in 2019. And if by chance, a fifth class were to open soon, the establishment now has enough space to accommodate all students.
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